Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blog Tour (Interview & #Giveaway): Guardians by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan

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Thank you so much for stopping by my stop of the Guardians official blog tour here on Bibliophilia, Please! Today, I'll be featuring my interview with Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan.



Title: Guardians (Wasteland #3)
Author:
Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: March 24, 2015

The Emmy Award-nominated and Edgar Award-winning duo of Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan deliver a heart-pounding finale to the postapocalyptic teen world of the Wasteland, filled with dramatic twists and turns. Bestselling author of Criminal, Karin Slaughter, called Wasteland "a Lord of the Flies for future generations. An irresistible page-turner."

No one dares to leave the District—the towering structure of glass and steel that is their protection against the unruly bands of Outsiders that roam Mundreel and the deadly rain that carries the disease that kills all over the age of nineteen.

This skyscraper stands amid the urban devastation, the city rumored to have once been called "Montreal." Esther and her allies have created a haven on the rooftop, a garden that flourishes, and a home for her new baby, hidden from all but the very few who know her secret. But as Gideon's power grows and factions form, the ultimate darkness is born from greed, and Esther must find a way to save the citizens from themselves.


Interview

Kayla: Hi Susan and Laurence, and thank you so much for allowing me to interview you. Do you mind telling us a little bit about the Wasteland series?

Laurence: The Wasteland trilogy takes place about thirty years from now. Climate change has thawed the Arctic ice in which the bodies of 20th century Spanish Flu victims had been preserved. The freed virus destroys nearly the entire world population; and the mutating disease—spread by water droplets, even rain— kills off all survivors by the age of nineteen.

Kayla: What can you tell us about Guardians if we haven’t read the first two books?

Susan: In book one, Wasteland, Esther, our heroine, is a rebellious 15-year old who lives in a small town called Prin. She fights against not only the short, brutal life of scavenging and mindless drudgery she is expected to lead, but also the hatred that the other townspeople have for “variants”, mutated outsiders who are half-male and half-female. A stranger with revenge on his mind, Caleb, comes to town… and Esther unexpectedly finds herself falling in love as she joins forces with him to defeat Prin’s ruthless leader. In book two, Wanderers, Esther, Caleb, and their friends are forced to leave home after an earthquake levels the town. After a grueling and deadly journey to the seemingly perfect city of Mundreel, the children meet the last adults living. The grownups treat them as honored guests in their home, a former luxury mall called the District… until Esther discovers their terrible secret. Joining forces with the Insurgents, a gang of street dwellers led by the charismatic Gideon, Esther is finally made the District’s leader. In the final book, Guardians, it turns out that the peace Esther has fought for so bitterly is a short-lived illusion. Two of those closest to her are plotting against her and will stop at nothing to take control of the city and its precious resources. The final book is more than Esther’s struggle to stay alive and save those she loves: it’s a battle between good and evil.

Kayla: What is your favorite development that came along in the series that wasn’t originally there?

Susan: The character of Saith changed a lot. She’s one of the two bad guys in the final book; and at first, we struggled a little bit with her, trying to pin down exactly who she was and what drove her. Because she turns out to be perhaps the most destructive villain in the entire series, we had always thought of Saith as being a peer of Esther’s: at least fifteen or sixteen. But halfway through the first draft, we suddenly thought, “what if Saith were a little girl?” Ageing her down to nine suddenly changed everything: it made the fact that Esther feels sorry for her and takes her in so much more believable. And her climb to power is all the more shocking because she comes across as a young, innocent child. It also made her bad behavior not only disturbing but tragic: you can see her as someone who’s very spoiled, someone who’s never had anyone to take care of her or teach her anything but terrible lessons.

Kayla: What do you think sets the Wasteland trilogy apart from other young adult novels?

Susan: One thing we always wanted was to create a protagonist who wasn’t initially a heroine or a warrior or a leader in any way, but a flawed and ordinary person who ultimately grows into those roles over the course of the series. Esther starts off as a shirker, someone who’s rebellious just for the sake of fighting with her older sister and not pulling her weight. Even though she’s likeable, she’s also irresponsible and frankly kind of immature. Even throughout the final book, Esther makes constant mistakes because she’s headstrong, impulsive, and a little too emotional. She means well and is a loyal friend, but she screws up constantly. Yet because of that, she eventually comes to realize what’s worth fighting for, whom to trust, and how to rally the people around her. Over the course of three books, she is forced to dig down deep and that’s where she discovers the courage and authority that were there all along. The secret, of course, is love: for not only her best friend and boyfriend, but also those around her. Obviously, the action and romance parts of the story were super important to us; but Esther’s character arc was also something we spent a lot of time on, and we think it’s a little unusual.

Kayla: What was the most fun part of writing the series with another person?

Laurence: There can be tensions in collaborating with anyone—especially if you’re married!—but there can be a lot of fun, too. The best part is when you come to a roadblock in the story and then you figure it out and fix it together; one person identifies the problem and the other person comes up with a good answer. Neither of you could have done it alone.

Kayla: Do you have any other upcoming works after Guardians that we can look forward to reading?

Laurence: I have a collection of short stories out, “The Family Unit and Other Fantasies,” from a publisher called Chizine. It’s full of strange stories, but for adults. Susan and I are also working on a new series and are just about to send something to our agents. So we should know soon whether it’ll be upcoming...or outgoing.

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository



About the Authors

Susan Kim is a playwright, TV writer, and author. Her two graphic novels w/co-author Laurence Klavan, City of Spies (artwork by Pascal Dizin) and Brain Camp (artwork by Faith Erin Hicks), were published by First Second Books in 2010. Flow: the Cultural Story of Menstruation (co-written w/Elissa Stein) was published by St. Martin’s Griffin in 2009. Plays include the stage adaptation of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club (Dramatists Play Service) and various one-acts that were produced in the EST Marathon, including "Death and the Maiden", "Rapid Eye Movement", "Dreamtime for Alice" (Dramatists Play Service and Farrar Strauss), and "Memento Mori" (Smith and Krauss). Her work has been produced internationally. Ms. Kim has been nominated five times for the Emmy and four times for the Writers Guild award for her work in both non-fiction and children’s TV; she won a WGA award in 1996 for Best Documentary. She lives in New York City, teaches dramatic writing in the MFA program at Goddard College and currently blogs for the Huffington Post.

Laurence Klavan wrote the novels, The Cutting Room and The Shooting Script, which were published by Ballantine Books. He won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the novel, Mrs. White, co-written under a pseudonym. His graphic novels, City of Spies and Brain Camp, were co-written with Susan Kim and published by First Second Books at Macmillan. His short work has been published in The Alaska Quarterly, Conjunctions, The Literary Review, Gargoyle, Louisville Review, Natural Bridge, Pank, Stickman Review, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, among many other journals, and a collection is forthcoming from Chizine Publications. He received two Drama Desk nominations for the book and lyrics of "Bed and Sofa," the musical produced by the Vineyard Theater in New York and the Finborough Theater in London in 2011. His one-act, "The Summer Sublet," is included Best American Short Plays 2000-2001.

Links
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Susan's Goodreads | Laurence's Goodreads

Tour Schedule

March 24th
Jean BookNerd
- GUEST POST

March 25th
Book Lover’s Life
- DREAM CAST

March 26th
TTC Books and More
- GUEST POST

March 27th
Word to Dreams
- EXCERPT

March 28th
Bibliophilia, Please
- INTERVIEW

March 29th
Taking it One Book at a Time
- REVIEW & RANDOM THINGS

March 30th
MichaelSciFan
- INTERVIEW

March 31st
A Dream Within a Dream
- REVIEW & TENS LIST

April 1st
CBY Book Club
- MUSIC PLAYLIST

April 2nd
A Leisure Moment
- REVIEW

April 3rd
Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace
- REVIEW & RANDOM THINGS

April 4th
TMBA Corbett Tries to Write
- REVIEW & TENS LIST

April 5th
Random Redheaded Ramblings
- REVIEW

April 6th
Sassy Book Lovers
- FAVORITE BOOKS

Giveaway



Enter to win one of two signed copies of Guardians by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan.
Open Internationally
Ends at 12:01am CST on April 7th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#TheHobbit The Battle of The Five Armies Blu-ray #Giveaway!

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The final installment of The Hobbit is here, and we now have a Blu-ray up for grabs thanks to Warner Bros., who is celebrating the Blu-ray release of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies! Mouse over the Interactive map of Middle-Earth and take the quiz to find out if you're Brave like Bilbo!

About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Digital

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.

Special Features on the Blu-Ray combo pack include:
  • New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3
  • Recruiting the Five Armies
  • Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga
  • Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey
  • The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes
  • Music Video
  • Trailers
Own it on Digital HD NOW
iTunes | Amazon

Own it on Blu-ray NOW
The Hobbit Facebook Page

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at New Zealand


Short Making-of Montage


Blog App

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Giveaway

One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies will be awarded to a lucky winner here on my blog. So, check out the blog app above and be sure to enter to win on the Rafflecopter form below!



US Addresses ONLY.
The prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS - No P.O. Boxes!
Ends at 12:01 EST April 18th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

FTC DISCLOSURE: Bibliophilia, Please is working with Warner Home Video in order to provide this giveaway to its readers. All materials have been provided through Warner Home Video. No money or favors have been exchanged for this post.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Review & #Giveaway: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (ARC)

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Title: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
Author:
Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Acquired Via: Publisher
Release Date: March 10, 2015

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom's capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie's behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can't trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina's magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil's magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl's battle to reclaim her place in the world.


My Review

The Orphan Queen not only surprised me by how much I enjoyed it, but it also ended my streak of "meh" reads. I enjoyed Jodi Meadows' Incarnate series, her debut, but this one blew those out of the water. Her books are very clean and sweet, but The Orphan Queen takes on some darker issues within the Indigo Kingdom, as well as within the characters.

In a way, Wilhelmina, known as "Wil", and the Ospreys reminded me of The Boxcar Children but ninjas. They were trained thieves and fighters who were born as nobility but are forced to make it on their own since they didn't want to stay in Skyvale's orphanage. They are training and biding their time so they can start a revolution and win Wil back her throne. The younger children pull their weight in ways, but they mostly depend upon the older children: Wil, Melanie, and Patrick. The kinship and relationships between the others went a little over my head, but whatever. The only thing about The Orphan Queen's characters that was non-Boxcar was one of them turned out to be a major douchebag who did some pretty horrible things.

And then Wil turned into Catwoman (not literally). She and Black Knife, the vigilante trying to rid the world of magic users and righting wrongs or whatever in the kingdom, are like superheros, but set in a medievalesque fantasy world. They were a lot of fun and not nearly enough of the book focused on them. (I knew who Black Knife was from the beginning, and I'm sure you will as well, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment, I promise.)

I didn't understand the mass execution of the nobility in Aecor previous to the events of the novel until the end, but that still seemed a bit over-the-top. There were infodumps galore throughout the novel, but I couldn't understand why Meadows left that reveal for the end. I think it would have been fine knowing from the beginning, but the hazy implications of various references to the One Night War were frustrating.

And that ending... I'm sure you're seeing in everyone's reviews of The Orphan Queen (if you've looked) that the ending is one hell of a cliffhanger. I almost wish that I would have waited to read this until book two was out, but such is the book life. Now I'm just going to have to hope that I don't forget everything before the end of this duology is released.

If you're a fan of fantasy but don't want the guts, gore, and sex (I'm looking at you A Song of Ice and Fire), then you should pick up The Orphan Queen. The writing and world-building is very enjoyable, and Wil is an interesting main character with real problems on her hands. I think you'll like her, and the book, as much as I did.

- 4/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond | Google Play | Indiebound



Giveaway

Since I have an ARC of The Orphan Queen and not enough room in my house, I'm putting it up for grabs.

US ONLY
Ends at 12:01am CST on April 25th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Early Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (ARC)

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Title: Crimson Bound
Author:
Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, from the author of Cruel Beauty.

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless—straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as the two become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic . . . and a love that may be their undoing. Within a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?


My Review

I really hate to leave a DNF review, as I did not finish the book, but I think it's important to talk about some of the issues that I had with Crimson Bound because that's what I personally look for in a review, in addition to whatever positive aspects that there may be.

I was very excited to read Crimson Bound because I loved Hodge's Cruel Beauty. As soon as I started the book, I was excited to follow Rachelle on her journey. She seemed to be a flawed and tough character like Nyx, but somewhere along the way, she lost me. I was unable to connect with her because she continuously wallowed in self-hatred (as far as I read). She reminded me a little of Katniss Everdeen, but not in a good way. Yes, Rachelle is a badass, but the wallowing... *sigh*

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (99): The Anatomical Shape of the Heart by Jenn Bennett

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



Title: The Anatomical Shape of the Heart
Author:
Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Release Date: November 3, 2015

A mysterious graffiti artist, an anatomy-obsessed artist, and a night bus that will bring the two together.

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?



I absolutely adored Bennett's first series, Arcadia Bell, and I'm really enjoying her newest paranormal series, Roaring Twenties. I'm intrigued that's she's switching genres to contemporary, but I'm sure I'll love anything she writes!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blog Tour (Interview, Excerpt & #Giveaway): All Mascara is Not Created Equal by Jessica Landmon #WomenGetRealBlogTour @AshleyLitPub @JessicaLandmon

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Title: All Mascara is Not Created Equal
Author:
Jessica Landmon
Publisher: Women Get Real
Release Date: February 2015

All Mascara is Not Equal takes spirituality to the modern woman. Tackling issues such as body image, fear, depression and many others, Landmon has tips that are practical, spiritual and apply to any struggle in between.

Originally written to help her daughter counter the social media haze of today’s pop culture, Landmon has now expanded the book to all women readers. With God’s faith leading her, she hopes to be a “life changer” for every woman that reads or hears her words.


Interview

Can you give us a brief summary of your book, All Mascara is Not Created Equal?

All Mascara is Not Equal is intended to present lighthearted, witty, and spiritually sound advice to young women and girls in “tweet-like” form to help them live a life God would approve of.

Where did you get the idea to write this book?

Cover Reveal: The Body Institute by Carol Riggs @Artzicarol @entangledteen

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Title: The Body Institute
Author: Carol Riggs
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Cover Reveal Organizer: YA Bound Book Tours
Release Date: September 1, 2015

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches...

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start...

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul...


Pre-Order
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo



About Carol Riggs

I'm a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel The Body Institute explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I'm an SCBWI member.

You'll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading--mostly young adult novels--as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds.

Find Carol Online
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads




Monday, March 23, 2015

#TheHobbit The Battle of The Five Armies Digital #Giveaway!

7 comments:

The final installment of The Hobbit is here! Warner Bros. is proud to bring you the Digital release of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies! Mouse over the Interactive map of Middle-Earth and take the quiz to find out what is your Middle-Earth weapon of choice!

About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Digital

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.

Own it on Digital HD NOW
iTunes | Amazon

Own it on Blu-ray March 24th

Official Movie Trailer


Blog App

TROUBLE VIEWING APP? GO HERE

Giveaway

One (1) Digital Download Coupon for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies will be awarded to a lucky winner here on my blog. So, check out the blog app above and be sure to enter to win on the Rafflecopter form below!

Open to addresses in the US ONLY.
The prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS - No P.O. Boxes!
Ends at 12:01 EST April 1st

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Digital Download Coupon for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

FTC DISCLOSURE: Bibliophilia, Please is working with Warner Home Video in order to provide this giveaway to its readers. All materials have been provided through Warner Home Video. No money or favors have been exchanged for this post.